Yogas Eight Fold Path To Enlightenment

Yogas Eight Fold Path To Enlightenment

While many consider Yoga to​ be a​ form a​ physical exercise,​ it​ is​ also known to​ be an​ exercise in​ spiritual development. Most would agree that the​ true goal of​ Yoga is​ to​ provide the​ individual with the​ means to​ achieve inner peace and balance. to​ achieve these lofty goals,​ students are encouraged to​ become familiar Yoga's eight fold path. the​ eight fold path consists of​ eight disciplines; Yama,​ Niyama,​ Asana,​ Pranayama,​ Pratyahara,​ Dharana,​ Dhyana,​ and Samhadi.

The first fold,​ Yama,​ advises students to​ engage with the​ world from a​ moral standpoint,​ and is​ actually broken down into five distinct elements. the​ first element,​ Ahimsa,​ teaches the​ student to​ respect the​ world around him. the​ second,​ Satya,​ teaches that one should be honest with themselves and with others. the​ third,​ Asteya,​ teaches not to​ steal from another. the​ fourth,​ Bramacharya,​ advises against overindulgence of​ any form. the​ fifth,​ Aparigraha,​ teaches the​ student to​ live a​ simple life that is​ not distracted by material things.

Niyama,​ or​ the​ second fold,​ is​ considered the​ path of​ self restraint and consists of​ three distinct elements. Shaugh,​ the​ first element,​ teaches students to​ keep the​ body and mind clean and pure. Santosh,​ the​ second element,​ teaches the​ student to​ be happy and contented with the​ task at​ hand and to​ give an​ honest effort in​ all endeavors. Tapa,​ the​ third element,​ suggests that certain pleasures must be given up in​ order to​ attain one's goals.

Asana is​ the​ third of​ the​ eight fold path,​ and it​ is​ concerned with physical training and building stamina. Asana is​ made up of​ 84 yoga poses,​ which are focused on​ developing strength,​ increasing health,​ and preparing for meditation. This stage is​ as​ much about physical conditioning,​ as​ it​ is​ mental or​ psychological discipline. Pranayama,​ the​ fourth fold,​ concerns controlled breathing. Proper breathing is​ important for mastering true relaxation and self discipline. the​ proper way to​ breathe while practicing yoga is​ to​ breathe in,​ and breathe out while pausing in​ between.

Pratyahara is​ the​ fifth of​ the​ eight folds,​ and is​ concerned with the​ individual's control of​ sensory stimulation. the​ intent is​ to​ induce a​ sense of​ inner peace and quiet,​ by tuning out external stimulation. Dharana is​ the​ sixth fold,​ and it​ is​ primarily concerned with focusing one's concentration on​ meditation. When a​ meditative state has been attained the​ student is​ then on​ to​ the​ seventh step,​ Dhyana. the​ final step,​ Samhadi,​ is​ attained when all previous steps have been completed and the​ individual experiences a​ true oneness with all things. the​ student is,​ as​ of​ this point,​ in​ tune with the​ universal flow. Namaste!

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